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The omnibus and urban culture in nineteenth-century Paris
Author: Masha Belenky

Engine of Modernity: The Omnibus and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris examines the connection between public transportation and popular culture in nineteenth-century Paris through a focus on the omnibus - a horse-drawn vehicle for mass urban transport which enabled contact across lines of class and gender. A major advancement in urban locomotion, the omnibus generated innovations in social practices by compelling passengers of diverse backgrounds to interact within the vehicle’s close confines. Although the omnibus itself did not actually have an engine, its arrival on the streets of Paris and in the pages of popular literature acted as a motor for a fundamental cultural shift in how people thought about the city, its social life, and its artistic representations. At the intersection of literary criticism and cultural history, Engine of Modernity argues that for nineteenth-century French writers and artists, the omnibus was much more than a mode of transportation. It became a metaphor through which to explore evolving social dynamics of class and gender, meditate on the meaning of progress and change, and reflect on one’s own literary and artistic practices.

Author: Mike Huggins

This book provides a detailed consideration of the history of racing in British culture and society, and explores the cultural world of racing during the interwar years. The book shows how racing gave pleasure even to the supposedly respectable middle classes and gave some working-class groups hope and consolation during economically difficult times. Regular attendance and increased spending on betting were found across class and generation, and women too were keen participants. Enjoyed by the royal family and controlled by the Jockey Club and National Hunt Committee, racing's visible emphasis on rank and status helped defend hierarchy and gentlemanly amateurism, and provided support for more conservative British attitudes. The mass media provided a cumulative cultural validation of racing, helping define national and regional identity, and encouraging the affluent consumption of sporting experience and a frank enjoyment of betting. The broader cultural approach of the first half of the book is followed by an exploration if the internal culture of racing itself.

Open Access (free)
Witchcraft and magic in Enlightenment Europe

This book looks at aspects of the continuation of witchcraft and magic in Europe from the last of the secular and ecclesiastical trials during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, through to the nineteenth century. It provides a brief outline of witch trials in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Finland. By the second half of the seventeenth century, as the witch trials reached their climax in Sweden, belief in the interventionist powers of the Devil had become a major preoccupation of the educated classes. Having acknowledged the slight possibility of real possession by the Devil, Benito Feijoo threw himself wholeheartedly into his real objective: to expose the falseness of the majority of the possessed. The book is concerned with accusations of magic, which were formalised as denunciations heard by the Inquisition of the Archdiocese of Capua, a city twelve miles north of Naples, during the first half of the eighteenth century. One aspect of the study of witchcraft and magic, which has not yet been absorbed into the main stream of literature on the subject, is the archaeological record of the subject. As a part of the increasing interest in 'popular' culture, historians have become more conscious of the presence of witchcraft after the witch trials. The aftermath of the major witch trials in Dalarna, Sweden, demonstrates how the authorities began the awkward process of divorcing themselves from popular concerns and beliefs regarding witchcraft.

Customary society and oral culture in rural England, 1700–1900
Bob Bushaway

6 Chapter 9 The spoken word ‘Things said or sung a thousand times’ ‘Things said or sung a thousand times’: customary society and oral culture in rural England, 1700–1900 Bob Bushaway Things cleared away then down she sits And tells her tales by starts and fits Not willing to lose time or toil She knits or sews and talks the while 1 John Clare’s long poem sequence The Shepherd’s Calendar celebrates English rural popular culture or, at least, that part of it represented by the local customs of his own village of Helpston in Northamptonshire in the late

in The spoken word
Open Access (free)
Masha Belenky

great fanfare in January 1913 ( Figure I.1 ), different forms of popular culture seized upon the omnibus as a subject of interest. Scores of texts and images – including newspaper articles, literary city guides, short stories, physiologies and other works of urban observation, vaudevilles, poems, a popular board game ( Plate 2 ), caricatures, postcards, songs and even a piano variation – featured omnibus travel. What accounted for this cultural obsession, and what does it tell us about nineteenth-century French society and its preoccupations? Engine of modernity

in Engine of modernity
Open Access (free)
Postfeminist genealogies in millennial culture
Stéphanie Genz

between the third wave and postfeminism, nor does it allow for a politicized reading of the latter. For example, the third wave and postfeminism occupy a common ground between consumption and critique, engaging with feminine/sexual and individual forms of agency. Both third wave feminism and postfeminism draw on popular culture to interrogate and explore twenty-first-century configurations of female empowerment and re-examine the meanings of feminism in the present context as a politics of contradiction and ambivalence. As will be

in Post-everything
Open Access (free)
Cautionary tales and oral tradition in early modern England
Alexandra Walsham

oral tradition. Concurring with a number of studies stressing the extent to which literacy penetrated pre-industrial popular culture,35 they 179 The spoken word are becoming more alive to the role which print and writing played in the dissemination of all folk genres and to the frequency with which tales and stories handed down by word of mouth were contaminated by contact with literary sources, if not originally initiated by them. Often, as Stith Thompson has observed, ‘the problem of priority is quite unsolvable’.36 Few, moreover, have escaped the distorting

in The spoken word
Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62
Author: Neil Macmaster

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

Open Access (free)
Mike Huggins

historians of leisure have been slow to explore and foreground those many hugely popular activities, such as racing and betting on racing, that were ambiguously respectable, and sometimes seen as morally problematic or illicit. Unconscious puritanism or careless cultural myopia has wrongly presented them as marginal to popular culture. By the interwar years, the appeal of such disreputable pleasures was spreading more widely. The balance of power was shifting. Racing illustrates this well. Over this period the formerly vociferous opposition to racing and betting from the

in Horseracing and the British 1919–39
Open Access (free)
Adam Fox and Daniel Woolf

’s views by Steven Pinker, a cognitive scientist, has gone so far as to postulate a ‘language instinct’.5 From a different perspective, semiotics, the study of sign systems or modes of signification, has for many years ranged beyond language proper and into the analysis of ritual and popular culture. It now 2 Introduction routinely examines non-verbal ways of communicating such as dress, gesture, visual art, and performance.6 It would seem that the more means we have developed to communicate with one another, the greater our urge ‘as reflective, not merely communicative

in The spoken word